Live Review

Death From Above 1979, HMV Forum, London

Enthusiastic and fearlessly energetic.

Somewhere in North-West London, on a breezy May evening, an accident and emergency room struggles to cope with a sudden influx of patients, some gravely injured; many beyond help. A consultant, perhaps a little too handsome to be a genuine doctor, surveys the wreckage, while an intern, who started the job just last week, nervously stammers a question to his superior.

‘Wh- what do you think did this?”

Before he can answer, a nurse bursts through the doors, carrying a half-naked corpse on a trolley.

‘Doctor,” the nurse yells, “We’ve got another one.”

‘Same symptoms?’ he asks, cooly.

‘Broken ribs, cracked skull, shows signs of internal haemorrhaging.’

Solemnly, the doctor nods. He turns, first to the young intern, then gazes thoughtfully into the camera.

‘Well well well, we meet again. I haven’t seen this for nigh on five years,’ he sighs. ‘Jimmy, I hate to tell you this, but it looks like we’ve got ourselves an epidemic of…’ he pauses, to shoot one final look of fear at the audience.

‘Death From Above.’

Fresh from a five year break, Death From Above 1979 have hardly returned with a low-key wine n’ nibbles welcome party. After fans desperate to see the Canadian duo at Austin’s SXSW festival caused riots earlier in the year, one can expect a certain degree of craziness at their first UK show in what seems like forever. And oh wow, even the greatest boy scout could not be prepared for what this show would unleash.

Never has a London audience been so enthusiastic and fearlessly energetic. Topless men sporting intimidating beards propel each other from one part of a human circle to another. An insane level of movement reigns from the first noise the band makes to the feedback when they depart. With ne’er a troublemaker to be found, you’d struggle to meet anybody (on floor-level at least) with a bad word to say about the show, bar those clutching various parts of their anatomy that got a little too caught up in the fun.

The main set clocks in at a mere 45 minutes, but it’s important to note that: a) Any longer and most of the crowd would’ve died of exhaustion; b) DFA1979 don’t actually have that many songs; and c) It was so good anyway that nobody could cope with the sheer ecstasy of a longer set.

Support from Young Legionnaire is an impressive warm-up. The trio, whose members hail from bands including Bloc Party and Yourcodenameis:milo, sound far better than they have any right to – imagine if Foals had grown up listening to something a bit more testosterone-fuelled, and you wouldn’t be far off.

Swearing isn’t cool, kids, but profanity can surely be excused in this case to sum up the show in a couple of concise, satisfying words: fucking incredible. The band were tight and energetic, and the audience were as good as anyone could hope for. Pretty much the perfect gig, even allowing for the pain my body is going to suffer for the next week or so. It would be wrong to deduct points purely because they didn’t cover CSS’s ‘Let’s Make Love and Listen To Death From Above’, since that is maybe a little unrealistic. Still, a man can dream.

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